A response to a recent letter

Posted: Tuesday, July 11, 2000

Bruce Abel, the past president of the Juneau Chamber of Commerce, and a successful member of a succession of local family businessmen, wrote to the Empire to remind all of us of the many blessings we have by living in Juneau. And to not rock our own good economic boat by openly suggesting controls on legitimate business opportunity. Tourism, mining and logging are pointed out by Abel as a nemesis to those individuals demanding that some meaningful controls be put in place.

One thing that makes Juneau an interesting community to live in is access to an intellectual atmosphere of open debate on the issues. We have before us numerous community issues that a more diverse, well educated and younger population has been successful in raising to our collective community consciousness. Thirty years ago, Juneau was a much smaller community by about one-half its current population. Then there were a lot of things residents took for granted, dealt with and said little about. However, with the passage of time comes inevitable change. We know much more about environmental sciences now and certainly what should be avoided if we are to maintain a sustainable quality of life and not continue to make the same mistakes that has diminished the Lower 48.

Rather than, as Abel sees it, ``... tearing apart the fabric of our local economy because someone else's livelihood inconveniences them.'' I see the changes on the horizon as a necessary process to assure positive improvement to the quality of all life in our community.

Hopefully, at some future time, present and future economic growth will not fester unresponsive wounds in the natural fabric of our unique community.

Alan R. Munro


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